It’s hard for NBA players to avoid the rumor mill during the offseason, and Anthony Davis learned that the hard way on Tuesday.
The New Orleans Pelicans star hosted his basketball camp for kids ages 7-15 at UNO this week, and he spoke to reporters on Tuesday about the experience.
Davis was asked about some of the weirdest questions campers had for him, and he said one stuck out above them all.
“I get asked all types of random stuff,” he said with smile. “The craziest (question) was if I was going to Boston.”
Davis meant it as a joke, but he acknowledged that it was hard to ignore the amount of trade rumors this summer that have speculated about his potential departure from New Orleans.
In particular, the Celtics have been linked with the four-time All-Star as a sensible destination if things ever went bad in New Orleans because of the vast number of trade assets they possess.
Davis said that he spoke with his agent, Thaddeus Foucher, and Pelicans general manager Dell Demps about the rumors earlier in the offseason and he was assured that there was nothing to worry about.
“I understand it’s a business, but if I don’t hear anything from Dell or my agent, I don’t pay attention to it,” said Davis, who averaged 28 points and 11.8 rebounds in 2016-17.
“Once I first heard (the rumors), then I heard it again, then I heard it again, I just wanted to make sure. I found out it wasn’t (true), and that was the beginning of the summer, so I haven’t paid attention to it since.”
Davis, who has played the first five years of his career with the Pelicans, made it clear that his desire is to stay in New Orleans.
“I am happy here as a Pelican,” he said. “I am happy here.”
The Pelicans ended last season with a 34-48 record and missed out on the postseason for the second straight year, despite pulling off a blockbuster trade to acquire All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in February.
Several members of the Pelicans organization have said that the team is facing a “crossroads” season in 2017-18, and they recognize that anything short of a trip to the playoffs would be a disaster for the franchise.
Davis said that his main focus is to help his team get back into the playoff picture and he chooses to ignore what other people think of the team.
“I don’t really care what anybody says. We know what we’re doing,” Davis said. “Especially having an entire training camp with me, DeMarcus and Jrue (Holiday) and (Rajon) Rondo…We feel like we have a shot against anybody, that’s our mindset coming in. We’re not worrying about all the white noise and what other people are saying.”
Davis added that he likes some of the moves the team has made during the offseason and his belief is that the Pelicans have enough on paper to be one of the best teams in the Western Conference.
“That’s what we’re expecting,” he said of making the playoffs. “Is it enough? We won’t know until the season’s over. But we definitely believe we have enough pieces on paper to make the playoffs. Not just make it, but actually make a run in the playoffs.”